City gives nods to Reschke, Primo, AmTrust projects for Loop conversions
Golub, Blackwood get nods for Loop office-to-resi conversions
Lightfoot advances two more projects to next round of review
Chicago officials have chosen two more office-to-residential conversion projects as finalists for its “LaSalle Street Reimagined” initiative, expanding one of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s signature pandemic recovery programs as she prepares to leave office.
A $178 million proposal from Celadon Partners and Blackwood Group to build 247 apartments at 105 West Adams Street, and another $143 million pitch by Golub & Co. and American General Life Insurance for 349 apartments at 30 North LaSalle Street joined three other projects in advancing to the next stage of the city’s selection process, the city said Friday afternoon.
“As LaSalle Street continues to evolve as one of the most distinguished and storied corridors in the Midwest, these conversions reaffirm the city’s support for innovative projects and improvements that reinforce its economic vitality for all Chicagoans,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
In March, city officials selected three projects to move forward with Lightfoot’s initiative to turn outdated and mostly vacant office buildings in the city’s historic financial corridor into housing, including affordable units, after hearing presentations from six development teams earlier that month.
Added together, the five projects total $890 million in development costs and would add 1,655 apartment units to the Loop, with more than 600 marketed as affordable. The developers are asking for a combined $323 million in tax increment financing. The projects require approval from the Community Development Commission and the city council.
The Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Housing are reviewing their applications for tax increment financing.
Chicago’s decision to expand the number of finalists comes as the future of the initiative is unclear. Lightfoot has less than 10 days left in office, and while Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has expressed support for using tax increment financing for affordable housing, he’s also said the city can’t give away tax dollars to places that don’t need them.
With new city council members getting sworn in this spring, as well, real estate players will be monitoring their thinking on the Loop conversions to gauge potential support for other tax increment finance spending in Chicago.